He came with the name Harry. We felt it suited him, and so we kept it.

He was a hairy, matted mess when we met him. Husband and O. arranged to meet him with his foster mom at a park in Town. They called me, and separately told me that they loved him.

I love them, so how could I not love a dog that they fell for? A 2-3 year old Cairn Terrier. Young, and a supposed good breed for allergy-sufferers. That would be A. in our house.

So, "home" he came, with the few possessions and medical records he had acquired from the shelter and foster mom. Leash, collar, rabies tag, food and a couple toys.

He was a nervous, skinny, barky whir of fur, and I was not sure I loved him.

He was not Tyler.

It has been almost a year since we put our beloved Ty-Ty down. I thought it would be easier to fall in love with another dog.

I figured we'd give it a little while to get over Tyler before looking for another dog. We'd then wait until after vacation in Cape May, and give A. the 6 months without a dog in the house that his allergist suggested.

We were all yearning for the routine of having a dog again. Husband and I missed the daily walks, and the house was so quiet when O. and A. were in school. I didn't realize that my heart wasn't ready.

I still know what it felt like to kiss Tyler on the top of his head, right where his white blaze was. I can still take in his doggie smell when I gave him those kisses. I can't wipe out of my mind the final minutes before Husband and O. took him to the Vet to be put down. I knelt beside him, kissing and hugging him, and over and over again, saying "go in peace".

He will forever be my "puppy". It is an endearment I never use with Harry. It just doesn't feel right.

Harry, however, can make me laugh like Tyler never could. He plays with toys, shaking them in his mouth and flipping them over his head. He particularly loves toys that make noise, squeak or play a tune.

When he comes back from his evening walk, he tears around the house, doing laps, activating every noise-making toy. He does this as I am getting A. to sleep, which makes the whole show even funnier. He can slam into a door and just keep on going.

I told Husband that this dog is serious about his sleep. He loves his little bed we bought him, and after his evening tear-about, he hops in, and snores on his back with his feet and nose in the air. Husband and I get to watch this while I am knitting, he is playing fantasy baseball, and we have Weeds or some other show on.

Tyler was never this entertaining.

Husband and O. gave Harry the middle name of Trouble. This suits him, too. We found out he can get on top of the kitchen table if a chair is left pulled out. One evening he got lucky and found a Sweet Provencal Flatbread with Anise Seeds left up there to cool. How marvelous to be able to dig right in without waiting for someone to cut you a slice!

The mail slot is back to being closed off. He's chewed the rear legs of my childhood rocking chair. My knitting basket has been returned to the back of the couch. Harry and Tyler share their passion for my yarn. My favorite knitting needles have Tyler's bite marks in them.

Where my heart goes from here, I don't know. Writing about Tyler for this post this week has helped.

Last weekend we let him jump up on our bed in the mornings. He licked me good morning until I was in hysterics. By this weekend it was already a routine.

I think my heart is cracking open.